Los Angeles Dodgers outfielder Carl Crawford suffered a setback in his recovery from an ankle injury and will remain sidelined indefinitely, reports Steve Dilbeck of the Los Angeles Times. The 32-year-old had been “making unexpected progress” before being temporarily shut down at the team’s extended spring training facility in Arizona.
“He just quit going forward,” [Dodgers manager Don] Mattingly said. “He was going so good, he’d ran and he was hitting. We really thought he was getting close. And then all of a sudden it seemed like he hit a level where he was feeling different things and wasn’t able to keep going. I look at it more that he’s gotten stuck.”
It’s disappointing news for Crawford, no doubt, but the Dodgers aren’t exactly desperate for outfielders at this point. With Andre Ethier, Matt Kemp and Yasiel Puig, plus hot-hitting reserve Scott Van Slyke, Los Angeles already appears pretty stocked at the position.
Last week, Crawford expressed his frustration with the uncertain role he’s had. “If ‘Dre (Ethier) is not hitting, something else is going to happen. If ‘Dre struggles, he is not going to play,” Crawford told Dilbeck. Ethier has batted .258/.316/.376 this season, but remains a part of the Dodgers’ lineup, though Van Slyke has increasingly been taking playing time.
Crawford probably won’t get a starting job back upon returning, which is likely the source of his frustration. However, considering his sub-.300 on-base percentage — he’s hitting .267/.293/.400 with four homers and nine stolen bases in 44 games — it’s not clear he’s the solution even if healthy.
The Dodgers could use a boost, though, and a return from Crawford is one way of getting it. When he gets back, expect L.A. to work him back into the mix quickly.